Botswana-focused Lucara Diamonds is spending $55-million on upgrading its Karowe diamond plant in central Botswana. Currently all material goes through a dense media separation (DMS) unit but in the future all of the material bigger than 75 mm will be subjected to X-ray transmission (XRT) technology, which picks out the diamonds from their carbon, improves recovery of large diamonds and limits diamond damage. “We’ll be pioneering XRT recovery in diamond processing,” Lucara COO Paul Day told Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.
Karowe is in late-stage commissioning of the new circuit, which is expected to be running to design before the end of this month. “XRT allows us to extract liberated diamonds at the point of liberation rather than crushing and recrushing them and putting them through a DMS type technology...What we should see is an increased recovery of undamaged larger diamonds and a general reduction in our diamond damage,” said Day.